Markata ( Monkey ) reeti sharanagati and Marjala ( Cat ) reeti sharanagati – explained by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
A baby monkey holds on to its mother tightly when she swings from branches to branches , trees to trees. The baby monkey also swings along with the mother. But the baby monkey can hold on to its mother only for amount of strength it has. Sometimes the baby monkey loses its grip and falls down. But the cat baby is not like that, a kitten cannot hold on to it mother tightly like the baby monkey. The kitten just meow’s from its place and the mother cat knows what the baby wants and lifts her baby by its neck with love and takes it from place to place. The mother holds the baby cat.
In the case of the monkey the baby holds on to the mother ( markata reeti ) , in the case of the cat the mother holds on to the baby ( marjala reeti ). The reason why Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gives these two examples is because when people say that I on my own with my own efforts and will, shall realize God, its like the baby monkey holding the mother. We can only reach to the extent of will and effort we have in realizing God. If our effort, will power, is shaky then we will fall down, just like the baby monkey. Its because we trust in our own will, efforts, might. When we are proud and trust our own will we can fall down at times.
If we surrender to God and and say that nothing is in my hands and that God you are the one. Only if you show compassion I can realize you. Leave everything to God just like how the baby cat trusts its mother to take care of it. It leaves the responsibility is in the hands of the mother cat. We don’t have to know to do any rituals, penance, prayers, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga etc. A sharanagat is like the baby cat who trusts that our Guru / God will save us, take care of us.
Another example – A father is taking his two children for a stroll. One child is holding the father’s hand with one hand, the father is holding the other child in his arms. As he is walking they all notice an aeroplane in the sky. The kids are thrilled and start clapping their hands. The child who is holding the father’s hand suddenly leaves the grip in order to clap his hands. Just as he did that he stumbles and falls down on the stone that was on the street. The child who is in his father’s arms also claps both his hands but he does not fall down because the father is holding the child. The child was not holding but the father was holding the child. Thus this is the difference between the person who surrenders and the person who doesnt. If we surrender completely our Guru/ God will take care of us even when we are in trouble.
— Courtesy – As narrated by Vishakha Hari in her discourse
I would like to supplement to your interesting views. Goswami Tulsidas in Ramcharitmanas has described this in a different manner. He has given a beautiful example of a devotee and a Gyani (knowledgeable person). In households it is the responsibility of a mother to safe guard her child against fire, waterbody, all harmful creatures and all probable dangers in all circumstances whatever pre-occupation She might have…; but when the child grows to an adult, he himself become capable enough to protect himself without the help of his mother. Goswamijii compares the child as a devotee and the grown-up adult as a knowledgeable person. Simply the difference is the spread of risk factors; risk is fully shared by the mother i.e., the God while the onus of self-protection lies on the knowledgeable. Risk factor includes Maya (illusion), Avidya (ignorance), and related things. (Aranya Kanda 42. B. 2- 5).
Another instance may be cited from the Mahabharat. Devi Droupadi tried her best to protect herself. She appealed to all superiors present in The Kurushava including her husbands, when failed She tried all her best to protect herself with her two hands. Finally, when She failed, She raised her two hands up and univocally called for the help of Lord Krishna to save her and that gave a sure result.. The attempt of her humiliation got foiled. Similar is the instance of Gajaraj (elephant) attacked by the crocodile. GOD ALWAYS TAKES UTMOST CARE OF A BEING WHEN HE/SHE SURRENDERS TO HIM UNCONDITIONALLY AND SINGULARLY….
I read the above. No doubt we have to surrender to God. But it says we don’t have to do even karma yoga. Krishna in bhagavad gita always talks about doing one’s karma. He does not suggest inaction. But here it says even karma yoga is not needed. I m confused a bit. Please enlighten. Or this article applies only to realisation of God but not to daily routine karmas.
We do not have to follow words as is. baby cat can do little karma but adults can do more.
So baby cat does as it can or what baby monkey does as it can. The example is given to show logic of what is the benefit of surrender to god. Does not mean we have to stop our karma. Karma is inherent.
Lovely story. If only we can surrender our all to God, He will take care of everything. May we also be like the baby cat in the story and not like the baby monkey. God is the Master Planner and as Sai Baba said ‘have full faith and confidence in your Guru” .